Friday, November 29, 2013

One of those sad and melancholy days....

It is one of those cold and dreary late fall days coupled with the aftermath of Thanksgiving at the in-laws and more to come tomorrow.  I needed an excuse for a quiet exit and some time to just listen to some music over a beer.  Perhaps it is a selfish move, but I personally think we all need some time to be contemplative in order to to rise to the occasions when called upon (think discussions with in-laws).  We all need a place where we can escape and feel secure in our own skin... for me that place is with a well crafted beer and some music to sweep the mind clean from stress.   It has been a hectic time as of late and I feel that independence is often something that I remember from long ago.  Life changes, I get that... Its finding the time to slow down and focus on the passions of life that drive us.  We all have something that we are passionate about, it just takes some folks a bit of time to chip away at the hard exterior surface.   As one swell fella once said... ." A life spent resisting temptation is a wasted life"-Paulo Coelho.  I am not saying shirk your duties as a spouse or parent, but give your self some personal time to shore the foundation.  With that said, take sometime today in between the hell that is Black Friday and find some quiet to reflect over a pint or whatever your fancy might be...

Stay beery, 
Stefan 

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Suburb called Schaerbeek....

Well my last trip to Brussels (5th time this year) was a great experience, even with the spitting rain and autumnal gloom of Belgium.  While my trip was for work and I had meetings of global importance, I do take time to seek out the "culture".   I was fortunate enough to have made my way across the pond during an American beer journalist junket.  Yes that means there were beery geeks of every persuasion that crawled the streets of Brussels on the prowl for good honest beer. An old friend who travels under the alias of a thirsty pilgrim had arrived ahead of my schedule....I felt honored to share in his research, plain and simple. On my "free day" we made our way up to the northern suburb of Brussels called "Schaerbeek" which was more of farming section of Brussels back in the day.  They have this thing with Donkeys... long story there.  One of our stops was a well planned visit to the Schaerbeek beer museum.  I was expecting some small and corny beer museum that someone had cobbled together... well it was somewhat small, but what a collection of breweriana.  A step back into time with regard to beer bottles and glassware.  But that was not what moved me... It was the staff, who were dedicated to the history of the Belgian brewing tradition.  They had the smiles on their faces to prove it.. or it could have been the beer that was especially made for their club (yes the museum doubles as a homebrew and tasting guild) by Abbey Du Rocs.  After a walk around we sat down for a nice beer and much to my surprise pork rinds... Pork rinds in Belgium? Why not!  If you have the time and they are open, please take the time to head up to Schaerbeek, rain or shine... do it!  More information can be found here - http://brusselsmuseums.be/en/museum/90-schaerbeek-museum-of-beer

Some pictures below to give you a bit of what went down...

Stay Beery my friends.....

Stefan












Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yes Yes I know... it has been awhile

Beer friends, 

It has been some time since my last post and for that I have not a good excuse....   I will however make a renewed commitment to take the blogging reigns back in my hands and make good excuses to start again.  Look for more to come soon... Just having come back from Belgium, I have much to rant about from atop my soap box.

Stefan 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Moving forward...with a beer in hand

So it has come to my attention that a new year has begun as peer through the dark bellows of my cellar pub. I have enjoyed some wonderful beers this year in addition to my renewed love for good Whisky and Bourbon.  Some of the beers that stand out for me are ones such as Alaskan Brewing Company's Baltic Porter...Delicious to the point of being ridiculous.  Then there is a the dark bog of a beer, Founders Porter... It seems more like a stout, but since I am looking at my calories, I am fine with calling this one a porter.  We have had such a powerful move forward in the craft brewing scene here in Madison this last year.  With such additions a House of Brews, the new and improved Ale Asylum, Karben4 Brewing and One Barrel Nano Brewing.  You heard it here... Madison is the hot bed of craft brewing in Wisconsin.  New Glarus visited the Capital and brought back beer (yeah Deb).  The Great Taste of the Midwest celebrated 26 years of blissfully sharing craft beer.  I hope that this year brings more beery things and joy to all who love the fermented.
Drink Well,
Stefan

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Summer Time Beerfliction....

So summer is near upon most of the nation (except here in Wisconsin, where spring has decided to join us) and the palate beckons the barley soda that is beer.... I have made somewhat of a full circle in the journey that is beer appreciation.  I am now enamoured with the resinous flowers that dance across the palate within IPA's and DIPA's.  For a long time, I wained away from these beers feeling that they had become too "mainstream" and popular with beer knurds... how wrong I was.  Sometimes the realization of what you love can be clouded by the interwebs and blogs professing a certain style of brand of beer.   Mind you, I am still searching for new beers, blending old favorites... but for now I am finding my way back to the hoppy bine and savoring the path.  It could be that IPA's are a working man/woman's beer... so damned refreshing when you have been busting your arse on some home project or helping the neighbors move in on a brutally hot day.  Or perhaps it is the notion that you are partaking in a renaissance of sorts with regard to emerging craft brewers as they try and one up each other with a bigger monster.  In America we tend to gravitate to Bigger is better philosophy...  My guess is that I will one day wake up and grab the bitter by the bottle and realize my woes...but for now bring me thy hop and malt to comfort me.... 
Stay Hoppy and Beery my friends,

Stefan

PS> I am on assignment in the Rocky Mountain State soon... will report back on those high altitude beers from the mile high state.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bruxelles a place to think while you have a drink

As I sit at Moeder Lambic Fontinas and enjoy a quiet beer (Band of Brothers-De La Senne), I cannot help but wonder at just how small this global beer community has become. We have at our availability amazing beers from all corners of the globe. We now travel to beery destinations instead of happening upon them. We utilize on-line guides to tell us what to drink because some beer swilling fool tells us it is a "99" rating. I cannot help but feel that some of the mystery and magic has been lost. What I am referring to is the simple moment when one discovers a pub or a beer that brings a smile of unexpected enjoyment. The beer world is changing at a fast pace and getting swept up into some sort of machine that concerns itself with global markets and profit. Rest assured there are those who are in the resistance movement and will defend beer history and purity to the last fizzy drop.


Beer well,


Stefan

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saison...A Belgian Enigma...

So have you ever asked yourself, and I mean truly asked yourself what exactly is a Belgian Saison? It seems to have many answers to the example, but how do you know and see that which is Saison? I am sure that tucked away in your cerebellum there is a notion of the example....But how does it fit into what we define as the style...what is style anyway? I am on a mission from the beer god Himself to see if I can answer this question or try to come close...

Beer well my friends!

Stefan